New airport terminal in 30 years
Queenstown Airport is planning a new terminal and sharing flights with Wanaka Airport to keep up with visitor growth.
The airport released its 30-year master plan last Tuesday.
It predicts growth from 1.8 million passenger movements (about 900,000 travellers) a year to 6 million by 2035 and 7m by 2045.
Queenstown Airport Corporation chief executive Colin Keel said the forecast demand was ‘‘not sustainable’’ for visitors and the community.
However, there were no plans to extend operating hours beyond the permitted 6am to 10pm, nor to extend the runway.
Instead the airport’s capacity would be limited to 5.1m passenger movements. Once capacity was reached, the airport would consider dual airport operation with Wanaka Airport.
The option was considered preferable to relocating to a new site, but not included in the master plan as a management lease of Wanaka Airport was still being negotiated with the Queenstown Lakes District Council, Keel said.
Three building options had been proposed for a new and bigger terminal, as the current terminal’s capacity was about 3.2m visitor movements.
A new terminal to the south of the runway could include 13 plane stands and a car parking site off Hawthorne Dr. The development would require the corporation to purchase the block of land known as Lot 6. The corporation is in the Environment Court attempting to complete a compulsory acquisition of the block.
Another option to develop a new terminal to the north of the runway would allow for 13 aircraft stands by the Five Mile retail development, with additional land purchased for general aviation and helicopter precincts to the south. Land would need to be purchased from five different land owners. A new taxiway extension could be added also, Keel said.
The airport was seeking feedback on the master plan until November 30, with community, business and tourism groups meetings being held across the region.
‘‘Queenstown Airport serves a large geographic area and a mix of local, national and international customers, so there are online and inperson options available to make it easier to provide feedback,’’ Keel said.